Fire breaks out at Zaman Tower in Paltan
12:00 AM, December 29, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:52 AM, December 29, 2018

Fire in building delays Oikyafront press meet

Fire service yesterday doused a fire at Pritam-Zaman Tower, housing central office of Jatiya Oikyafront, in the capital's Paltan area after three hours of frantic effort.

Fire fighters also rescued at least 12 people who were trapped in the 15-storey building due to the fire.

The incident caused a one-hour delay to a pre-scheduled press conference of Jatiya Oikyafront, office of which is on the 3rd floor of the building.

Latiful Bari Hamim, a media wing member of Jatiya Oikyafront, speculated that the incident might have been an act of sabotage, aimed to impede their work ahead of Sunday's national election.

Brig Gen Ali Ahmed Khan, director general (DG) of Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence, said electric short-circuit might have caused the fire that originated around 2:40pm on the 8th-floor office of National Credit Ratings Ltd (NCR).

The fire service DG at a briefing told reporters that they doused the fire around 5:45pm, engaging 80 firemen and 15 fire engines. A five-member body to probe the incident was also formed.

“No fire-fighting system was installed in the building,” he said, adding, “We rescued three people from the 10th floor and nine others from the rooftop.”

An IT official of NCR, where the fire originated, told reporters that the office, closed for the weekly holiday and no one but the office cook, Afzal, was staying inside the office.

Around noon, Afzal went out of the office for Juma prayers and after he returned, he saw plume of smoke was coming out of the office, added the official.

Cook Afzal said the fire originated in the glass-covered server room of the business that belongs to a former police official.

Meanwhile, there were three other fire incidents yesterday in Tangail and Shariatpur, burning down a dwelling house and 20 shops.

Reasons behind the fires could not be known immediately.

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